Member Login    

Life Insurance

Publications and Resources

What You Should Know About Life Insurance. An ACLI guide to help you choose the right life insurance products to meet your needs.

Tips on Buying Life Insurance.  A list of buying tips, excerpted from "What You Should Know About Life Insurance."

State insurance department directory. The State Insurance Department Directory, with contact information for 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Includes names and phone numbers for key personnel and specific subject contacts.

75 million American families rely on life insurers' products


Follow ACLI on Facebook  Follow ACLI on Twitter  Subscribe to ACLI's RSS Feed  Watch ACLI videos on YouTube 

Print | Email | Follow Us      

Lapses and Surrenders

If you miss a payment on a life insurance policy, you normally have a 30-day grace period in which to make the payment. If you die within the grace period, your beneficiary will receive the benefit minus the overdue payment. If you miss the grace period, the policy will lapse. That means your beneficiaries will not receive benefits when you die.

However, depending on how long you held a policy before it lapsed, the policy may still have value to you. The cash value of a lapsed policy can still be used as collateral for a loan. You also may be able to reinstate the policy. Most policies can be reinstated within five years of lapsing as long as overdue premiums are paid and loans against the cash value are satisfied. Most companies require proof of insurability, however, reinstating a lapsed policy can be less expensive that purchasing an entirely new policy.

If you decide not to reinstate a lapsed policy and to cancel it instead, you are still eligible to receive the cash value of the policy. If the cash value exceeds the amount you paid in premiums, the amount in excess of premiums is likely to be subject to taxes.

DIRK KEMPTHORNE, PRESIDENT & CEO (bio and speeches)                                                                        © American Council of Life Insurers    
101 Constitution Ave. NW Washington, DC 20001  202 624 2000             Contact Us                  Privacy Policy

Public Policy

Skip Navigation Links
Retirement Plans
Employee Benefits
Insurance Regulation
Federal Capital Standards

Take Action


Skip Navigation Links
Ad Campaigns
Letters to the Editor
Media Contacts
News Releases

Industry Facts

Skip Navigation Links
Assets and Investments
Benefits Paid
Guaranty Associations
Life Insurers Fact Book
Regulation of Insurance
State Fact Sheets
State Insurance Departments

Research & Publications

For Consumers

Skip Navigation Links
Disability Income Insurance
Life Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance
Workplace Retirement Plans


Skip Navigation Links
Business Opportunities
Past Events
Upcoming Events

About ACLI

Skip Navigation Links
ACLI Leadership
Board of Directors
Business Opportunities